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Lia Rothstein Leads Sustainable Art Workshop

Join artist Lia Rothstein’s talk on using bioplastics in art on Nov. 30. Attend her sustainable printmaking workshop on Dec. 9-10 at BMAC.
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On Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m., artist Lia Rothstein, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC)’s 2023 Climate Change Artist in Residence, will give a free online talk about her experiments using bioplastics as art materials. On Dec. 9 (2-4 p.m.)  and Dec. 10 (1-4 p.m.), Rothstein will lead a two-part printmaking workshop with a focus on natural materials and non-toxic processes. Workshop participants will design their own Gelli printing plate and make prints that can be used as holiday cards or all-purpose works of art.

Lia Rothstein’s Nov. 30 talk will take place on Zoom and will be simultaneously streamed on Facebook Live. Links to both feeds are available at brattleboromuseum.org.

The Dec. 9-10 workshop will take place at River Gallery School (32 Main St. #201, Brattleboro). Advance registration is required. A fee of $90 ($75 for BMAC members) includes all materials. To register, visit brattleboromuseum.org or call 802-257-0124 x101.

Lia Rothstein

Lia Rothstein’s talk and workshop provide an opportunity for the public to learn how all artists, professionals and non-professionals alike, can contribute to a more sustainable future through their material choices. A photographer, sculptor, and educator who lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, Rothstein creates innovative mixed-media work with bioplastics, reflecting her commitment to using materials that contribute to environmental preservation. Unlike traditional plastics made from chemicals derived from the production of fuels such as gas, oil, and coal, bioplastics are made from renewable plant- and animal-based resources, many of which are biodegradable.

Lia Rothstein’s current work focuses on issues surrounding fragility and transience. A decade ago, during an art residency in Hofsos, Iceland, she witnessed the impact of climate change on that country’s diminishing glaciers, which prompted her to seek out biodegradable sculptural materials. Recently, she has been exploring such materials as agar (seaweed), gelatin, cassava, and tapioca. BMAC Director of Exhibitions Sarah Freeman calls Rothstein’s work “incredibly creative and hopeful.”

“I think artists have a responsibility to be thoughtful about the materials we use in our work,” Rothstein explains. “We can explore materials that have less impact on our environment, that reduce unnecessary waste and pollution in our fragile ecosystems.”

BMAC’s Climate Change Artist Residency program aims to promote awareness and dialogue around issues of environmental preservation through the lens of contemporary art. Lia Rothstein was selected as the 2023 Climate Change Artist in Residence in November 2022, from a pool of more than 80 applicants. She has worked as a photographer for 40 years and has exhibited a range of multimedia work in galleries and museums across the U.S. She has taught photography and a variety of art processes in colleges and art centers throughout New England. She holds an M.F.A. and a B.A. from Boston University.

Brattleboro Museum & Art Center

Founded in 1972, the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. BMAC is open Wednesday-Sunday, 10-4. Admission is free, courtesy of M&T Bank. Located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit brattleboromuseum.org.

BMAC is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by Brattleboro Savings & Loan, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitters, and Whetstone Beer Co.